Thanks to advancements in science and medicine, people are living much longer than ever before. However, a longer life expectancy is not just the goal for most, but spending these extra years as healthy and disease-free as possible. This is why there are so many health trends nowadays so that people can enjoy their lives without worrying about getting sick.
One of these popular trends including drinking alkaline water. While lots of people have opted to drink only bottled water due to the lack of clean drinking water sources, some people do not want to spend money on these products or simply do not want to produce more plastic waste from these bottles. Instead, alkaline water can be easily produced at home and also bring some health benefits.
What Is Alkaline Water?
In school, you have learned about the pH (or potential of hydrogen) scale which measures the alkalinity or acidity of liquids. Those with a higher pH level are more alkaline and less acidic, and the opposite goes for those with lower pH levels. Normal drinking water has a pH level of about 7, and water that has higher than that is called alkaline water.
The idea of drinking alkaline water hails from the belief that its consumption will be able to neutralize the acidity of food or drinks in the body. The fact is, most normal diets are very high in acidity and the belief is that it may cause conditions like osteoporosis.
Moreover, it is believed that cancer cells feed off these high acidity levels and it may also accelerate the process of aging. Thus, by drinking alkaline water and eating less acidic food, people can improve their health, make them look younger and their skin glow, and prevent cancer.
While there is still a need to further research the benefits of alkaline water, some studies have already pointed out several advantages. For example, a study by J. Weidman et al. suggested that alkaline water consumption after exercise will bring down blood viscosity.
Another study also linked alkaline water to the ability to help the millions of people suffering from acid reflux. More recently, research has shown that alkaline water slows down the aging of mice and benefits their survival.
The best part about drinking alkaline water is that there are no apparent side effects other than overhydration, which may occur when you drink water of any kind.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Alkaline Water
Proponents have reported the following benefits, thanks to their consumption of alkaline water.
- Better Hydration
The molecules of alkaline water are smaller, thus they can be more quickly absorbed by the body’s cells. Of course, being adequately hydrated is linked to a lot of health benefits, as well as contributing to a healthier, younger-looking skin.
- More Vitamins and Minerals
Drinking alkaline water allows you to take in some important minerals like calcium and magnesium. Both play a huge role in keeping your bones healthy. Beyond that, ionized water is believed to also have antioxidants that destroy free radicals in the body and also slow down the aging process.
- Better Taste
Little known to most, commercial food manufacturers actually use alkaline water because it contributes to the taste.
- Lower Acidity In The Body
Research has proven that high acid levels in the body can be disadvantageous for long-term health. Thus, consuming alkaline water can lower the acidity level in both the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract (or G.I.).
- Boost The Immune System
It is generally believed that an alkaline body is healthier. The immune system, specifically, gets a boost when the acidity caused by stress, external toxins, and poor diet is neutralized.
Checking the pH Levels Of Your Water
Before you even consider preparing alkaline water at home, you will need to check what the actual pH levels of your water at home really is. This will help you figure out how to adjust your water source to make it perfect for consumption. To do so is quite easy and you will be able to use the same equipment later on to create your own alkaline water.
As mentioned above, most tap water has about a 7 pH level. Unfortunately, some impurities in your water source might make it more acidic. Your goal is to reach a level of 8 or 9 through alkalizing your home water source. To check these levels, you will need to buy a pH kit, which is available in almost any health store in your community. These kits include pH strips and a color chart to interpret the results.
Once your kit is ready, simply take one strip and dip it into your water. Let it sit for a few seconds before comparing the color with the chart to discover the pH level of your water source. After you get your results, you can use any of the methods below to reducing the acidity of your drinking water and achieving a pH level of 8 to 9.
Preparing Your Own Alkaline Water
The best thing about alkaline water is that you do not have to buy it in bottles, which can be more expensive, difficult and less environment-friendly. With your own equipment, you can produce as much water as you consume and even share some with your loved ones.
Other than the pH kit that you already used to measure the acidity of your water, you will need some other ingredients and equipment to create alkaline water. The first is, of course, the water you want to measure and convert into alkaline water. Distilled or filtered water is best because tap water might have some impurities. You will also need a container with a tight lid to store your alkaline water. Glass is best, but plastic will also work.
To create alkaline drinking water, you will need baking soda, sea salt, coral calcium powder, and lemon. A kitchen knife and a small bowl are also be needed.
Simple Steps for Creating Alkaline Water
- With Baking Soda
Baking soda has a high pH level and thus, can be used to alkalize tap water. It is also a very simple method, as all you need to do is to add about 1/8 of a tablespoon of baking soda to 8 fluid ounces of water. Afterward, make sure you shake or stir the water very well so that the baking soda is fully dissolved. In a few minutes, you have your fresh, alkaline water for drinking.
The only downside to this method is that it is not recommended for those who have a sensitivity to sodium or need to reduce their sodium intake, as baking soda has quite high levels of sodium.
- With Lemon
Lemon juice is not the obvious choice to create your own alkaline water because it is very acidic. In fact, it has a pH level of only 2 or 3. The interesting thing, though, is that it becomes alkaline as your body digests it. This is why using lemon juice to make your drinking water more alkaline makes sense. Much like baking soda, you need 1/8 tablespoon of lemon juice per 8 fluid ounces of water.
Beyond helping you create alkaline water, lemon juice can do the body more good. Specifically, you benefit from the vitamin C in lemon juice and makes your water taste and smell better.
- Add pH Drops
This is one of the simple ways of making alkaline water because all you will have to do is to buy the drops and add a couple to your drinking water. This liquid, beyond making it easy for you to lessen the acidity of water, also has tons of electrolytes and concentrated minerals. Beyond being easy, these drops are very easy to bring with you wherever you go.
- Use A Water Filter
This method is perfect for those who do not have the best water supply and require their drinking water to first be filtrated. This product is a combination of the water filter and the jug. All you need to do is to fill up the top of the jug and wait for the final result. This water is very refreshing and good, thanks to the layer of filtration. Lastly, the water, now alkaline, ends up tasting and smelling better.
- Install a Water Filtration System
While this method requires you to invest in a water infiltration system, you can maximize your money because it can process a whole lot of water for your home and family. This kind of water filter system is quite common in the US.
What To Look Out For
Any one of the simple ways outlined above can make it possible for you to turn your water more alkaline. However, it is important to note that all methods other than using a filter will not be able to catch the contaminants found in your tap water.
Thus, if you have a reason to suspect levels of contaminants in the water, then it is best to invest in a water filter. Not only does it get rid of these impurities, but it also contains chlorine, fluoride, and other minerals. You will end up with refreshing and safer drinking water plus all the advantages of drinking alkaline water.
- Is alkaline water a miracle cure – or BS? The science is in – The Guardian
- Alkaline water – Precision Nutrition
- Can you use alkaline water to treat mold allergies? – HowStuffWorks